History of Jehovah Witnesses in Ukraine and USSR
Research of the history of Jehovah Witnesses.
WE NEED YOUR ASSISTANCE!!!
As a small group of independent scientists we address to all who are not indifferent to the history of Jehovah Witnesses in Ukraine and countries of the former USSR. We are glad to inform you that the deep research of this organization history already has began and have been continuing during four years in Ukraine, as well in some countries of the former USSR. The main purpose of this activity is to unite people of different categories and professions, which are interested in history of the religion communities.
Kostyantyn Oleksandrovych Berezhko, scientist and writer, Majesty of history, lecturer of religion science, logic and history in several high educational schools of Ukraine, author of the book “History of Jehovah Witnesses in Zhitomir” and the textbook “Modern religion science”, takes a lead of this research. Kostyantyn Oleksandrovych and his assistants are engaged in collection and popularization of the information about history of Jehovah Witnesses in former Soviet Union in all possible places and by all possible means.
ATTENTION! We would like to remind that we collect only scientific information. Theological and legal issues, information regarding organizational structure of the confession and other issues of such kind you need to solve only with Administrative Center of Jehovah Witnesses. This site does not present the interests of the Society and is not related with its activity by any means.
Results of the research:
A lot of work was made during four years of research Jehovah Witnesses history by K.O. Berezhko and by his cooperators. There was conducted about 250 interviews in different spots of the former USSR, was investigated about two hundreds of different articles, reports, books devoted to Jehovah Witnesses, was copied and studied a half of thousand of the archival documents.
The book “History of Jehovah Witnesses in Zhitomir” and textbook “Modern religion science” were published. Moreover, various scientific articles were published that shed light to pages of history closed before our time.
This work is also not passed unnoticed among community. Many scientists, students, teachers, reporters looked in history of Jehovah Witnesses from other point of view. We would like to quote some fragments of received letters:
• I’m reading avidly this interesting material. Thank you very much (Sergey Yuzefovich, Malin city).
• „Religion scientific basis of this problem is almost absent, and historical investigations are very limited. A merit of the author is that he succeeded to group and analyzed three kinds of sources: religion editions, publications of historical character and memoirs of the religion communities members” (O.S. Kuzmin, candidate of historical science, associate professor of the Ivan Franko Zhitomir State University).
• “Examples cited in manuscripts [the book “History of Jehovah Witnesses in Zhitomir”], are really impressive. Up to that time I knew nothing about confession of Jehovah Witnesses, but now the examples of their memoirs are perpetuated in my memory” (Gennady Mahorin, lecturer of the history in the Ivan Franko Zhitomir State University).
Moreover, in the period of research we had established scientific relations with the western historians and scientists of the neighbor countries. In this way historians of such countries as Germany, USA and Russia cooperate with the leader of the project. As a result, the articles about history of Jehovah Witnesses were published in authoritative European collections of articles.
Would you like to assist?
Sponsors: During search of information we have met a lot of problems, first of all the material problems. Thus copy of only one page of the important document is not less then 20 dollars cost, but this document may contain up to 150 sheets. However we needed not less then half a hundred of such documents for careful research to proceed from the book “History of Jehovah Witnesses in Zhitomir”. Furthermore this work demands a lot of means for numerous journeys, services of lawyers, translators, communication, publication of articles, books and other issues. Finally at present time we even have no possibility just to publish materials, interviews and the facts about history of Jehovah Witnesses, which were founded during this research.
In this way to the end of year 2007 we plan to publish the book "History of Jehovah Witnesses in Ukraine, vol.1" (in Russian). The book will contain three parts: “History of Jehovah Witnesses in Ukraine – the past and the present”, “Features of Jehovah Witness activity in regions” and “The Price of faith”. Information of these parts will be brightened by fragments of interviews with eye-witnesses of that time. We plan to publish in the book the facts that were unknown until then: secret files, important legal documents, to relate about various methods of ideological and physical pressure of KGB, living conditions of Jehovah Witnesses in Soviet concentration camps etc.
Moreover, after publication and successful distribution of the above-mentioned book we plan to publish following volumes of this issue and such works as “The Price of faith” (autobiographies of Jehovah Witnesses that were persecuted for their faith), “Jehovah Witnesses in Soviet State. What the sources will relate?”
We invite to respond all those who are able to finance the publication of such researches and to make welfare for research of history of Jehovah Witnesses. Your assistance will help to open pages of history that were forgotten and hidden until then.
Museum of the History of Jehovah Witnesses. At present day there are a lot of institutions devoted to many historical events, famous persons and different subjects interesting for community and for keeping and spreading of the information about these events. There exist various museums, funds, institutes etc. We are sure, that the history of Witnesses has a lot of facts, which would be interesting for community, now, as well as in the future. That is the reason why we call to respond persons, which would be able to cooperate in foundation the Museum of the History of Jehovah Witnesses. This institution would be able to function in one of the resort cities in Ukraine (for example in Feodosiya city in the cost of Black Sea), that would drew attention of people from different countries and categories. It would be also possible that office was function attached to the museum that will coordinate the working of the project. If you have interested by this project please write us your e-mail without fail. We will propose you several kinds of projects of construction and functioning of museum (it may be possible even self-financing of this institution).
Jehovah Witnesses: If you are Jehovah Witness and experienced persecution for your own faith, please describe your experience and send us your history. And if you kept some documental testimonies (proceedings, certificates, archival documents) either just press-cuttings or old atheistic book, that affect Jehovah Witnesses, please write us on e-mail. We also ask for help to Witnesses of junior generation. The best opportunity to assist in collection of more accurate facts about history of Jehovah Witnesses is to fix the memoirs of your parents and grand-parents. Please make it for future generation that they will know about examples of faith of your parents.
Scientists and reporters: Dear scientific community and workers of mass media! If you while working will meet the information which reveals pages of History of Jehovah Witnesses unknown before, we will be very thankful if you will inform us about it. From our part we are ready to provide you any information that would assist you in dissertation investigation, certainly if the subject concerned to Jehovah Witnesses. We also invite to cooperation the reporters of mass media. More than once we gave to different mass media the truthful information regarding the history of Jehovah Witnesses, that to destroy among journalists the popular myth about activity of religion community. Moreover, we will be glad of assistance of those who are ready to cooperate in the area of research the history of Jehovah Witnesses: historians, artists, librarians, student of local lore and just people who are not indifferent to the history.
We ask to send your messages and proposals to the following e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Only with your assistance the continuation of the history of Jehovah Witnesses will be possible.We are sincerely thankful for your attention and understanding!
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